1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
When I had things to do it was really good because I was enjoying my tasks and felt like I was making a real contribution to the work going on. When I didn't have tasks (which in the first 7 weeks was very often) I was left feeling like I didn't want to be here because it felt like people didn't care that I was here or about what I am doing.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The colleagues that I worked with closely were lovely and really included me and didn't treat me as though I am an intern but like I am a regular employee.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I found the support from my line manager very poor. In the first week they were good but it soon became clear that they are too busy for me (understandable) so we did not have regular check ins/1-2-1s. Some meetings that we did have scheduled they did not turn up and gave no warning. When I needed things it was quite difficult to get in contact with them/would not get a response. Considering that they are quite busy it may have been a good idea to point me in the direction of someone else that could suggest work for me to do/give me guidance but this was not done so I was often left feeling lost and confused as to what my purpose is.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In the first 6/7 weeks I did not have much to do. I was given the odd task to do but they were small things so didn't take much time. One of the tasks was to do a presentation for my line manager but they didn't even look at it. In the remaining time I had I was doing my own learning about my department/future career which was not ideal because I could have done that at home without being on this internship. In week 7 one of my colleagues invited me to work on a project that they were on and I had plenty to do, I had a plan for the week of what I should be doing and the work I was doing was actually contributing to their end goal.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Not much until around week 7. Until this time, nothing I was doing held any responsibility and I was not working on anything in particular so I did not hold any responsibility by assisting on any important work, for example. In week 7 when I was invited to work on a project I was given huge responsibility as I was doing the same tasks as everyone else and even did things on my own where I was the one solely responsible for that task and fed back my findings to the group.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I do not feel like I have really learnt any technical skills but I have definitely become more confident having never worked in an office environment before and developed more of my soft skills like time management, punctuality and conducting myself appropriately in the workplace. Although these soft skills are good for the future, I feel I could have easily developed these elsewhere rather than on this internship that was quite difficult to get a place on so I was expecting to learn a bit more than soft skills
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone was really friendly and the atmosphere was quite relaxed while still ensuring that the work we are doing is important and the top priority. Everyone was easy to talk to and approachable so I was not afraid to ask for help when I needed it.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very poorly. My internship had no structure whatsoever. Nobody knew I was joining/why I was here except for my line manager. I did not get my laptop/email until week 5 of 10. I did not have a desk so I was always sat in a pod away from everyone else. I did not receive a lot of work and this was always short tasks so was not something where I could show my potential and drive. When I did get work it was never from my line manager it was always from other colleagues trying to help me out so I began most days uncertain of what I will be doing/if I will be doing anything which became quite stressful.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I got to do a design thinking 2 day course which was very good but apart from that I cannot really think of anything that stands out in terms of personal training and development that I was offered.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate schemes are appealing to me as I am looking for a structured programme upon graduation but I do not automatically get onto this I have to do tests/an assessment centre at least. There hasn't been a way (to the best of my knowledge) of leaving the internship with a job but I believe you have a better chance of getting on to the scheme having done the internship
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All interns in my location lived in shared flats in a student accommodation so it was very social. Many people I know had after work drinks with their colleagues but this isn't the case for all teams.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The accommodation was paid for which was great! Public transport/food in general no more expensive than any place. I did not notice that socialising and living was much cheaper/more expensive than at home/uni
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Plenty of nice clubs/bars spread out throughout the city. I was in Edinburgh which has the festivals on over summer so it is pretty much impossible for there to be nothing to do during the whole of August! Still lively and busy when the festival is not on.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I did not actively seek to find opportunities outside of work but there was plenty of things to get involved in within the festival (one of my friends sang on stage) and there is always plenty to do in Edinburgh.